About Last Weekend: Duke Weathers the Storm

Quinn CookIn case you were out getting back what’s rightfully yours, here’s what you missed in sports this weekend.

  • Duke avenged an earlier loss at Miami to beat the Hurricanes at Cameron Indoor Stadium, 79-76, behind 36 points from Ryan Kelly. Kelly, who had missed the previous two months with a foot injury, said after the game of Miami’s NCAA title chances, “We have done far worse than killed them; we have hurt them. And I wish to go on hurting them. I shall leave them as they had left us: marooned, on the periphery of contention. Buried alive. Buried alive.”
  • Revenge was also the order of the day in Ann Arbor as Trey Burke and the Michigan Wolverines topped Michigan State, 58-57. Michigan coach John Beilein, who was asked after the game if this made the two teams even after Michigan State’s thrashing of the Wolverines on February 12, responded, “No, no, no, no, no. No, to get even, even-steven, I would have to dunk right on [Michigan State coach] Tom Izzo’s head, go up to his daughter’s room, dunk on her head, then wait for his wife, Lupe, to get home, and have Tim Hardaway Jr. dunk on her head. That would be even. That would be about square.”
  • LeBron James shook off a scary-looking knee injury and got revenge for a pair of earlier defeats, scoring 29 points while leading the Miami Heat over the New York Knicks, 99-93, at Madison Square Garden. “Come at the King, you best not miss,” James said after the game, before whistling a few bars of “The Farmer in the Dell.”
  • The San Antonio Spurs overcame the absence of All-Star point guard Tony Parker, taking out their frustration by thrashing a hapless Detroit Pistons team at home, 114-75. Before the game, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, in a rare emotional moment, was seen looking at Parker’s medical reports, while saying to himself, “Look how they massacred my boy.” Popovich was then seen explaining to Tim Duncan, “I never wanted this for you. I work my whole life, I don’t apologize, to take care of my family. And I refused to be a fool dancing on the strings held by all of those big shots. That’s my life, I don’t apologize for that. But I always thought that when it was your time, that you would be the one to hold the strings. Senator Duncan, Governor Duncan, something. I didn’t think you’d still have to be playing basketball. There wasn’t enough time.”
  • Tottenham Hotspur held onto third place in the Premier League with a 2-1 win in the north London derby over Arsenal, avenging their 5-2 loss from earlier this season. Embattled Arsenal coach and noted Frenchman Arsene Wenger said after the match, “There was this kid I grew up with; he was younger than me. Sorta looked up to me, you know. We did our first work together, worked our way out of the street. Things were good; we made the most of it. As much as anyone, I loved him and trusted him. Later on he had an idea to play soccer in a city out in America, in some podunk stopover for commuters heading east. That kid’s name was Thierry Henry. This was a great man, a man of vision and guts. And there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost, or a statue of him in this town!” It was then pointed out to Wenger that there is, in fact, a statue of Henry outside of Emirates Stadium, and that he was mostly speaking nonsense. Wenger then lit a Gauloise and said, “I’m going in to take a nap. When I wake, if the money’s on the table, I’ll know I have a job next year. If it isn’t, I’ll know I don’t.”
  • The Chicago Blackhawks’ point streak sits at 22 after defeating longtime rival the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout, 2-1. With the Blackhawks established in their ascendance, with a Stanley Cup title, and the hottest team in the NHL, and a win over the Red Wings a relatively ho-hum affair, longtime Blackhawks fan Ian Malone said, “We’ve been in the revenge business so long, now that it’s over, I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.” When it was suggested to Malone that he consider piracy, Malone explained that he was not interested, as he was a lifelong Cubs fan.
  • The Los Angeles Angels surprised reigning AL Rookie of the Year Mike Trout by giving him a smaller than expected raise on his contract renewal. While Trout has remained calm publicly, apparently negotiations broke down when Trout delivered the following ultimatum to Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto: “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. But what I do know is that I have a very particular set of skills, skills I plan to maintain over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you sign me to an extension now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you; I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will tell you to your face that I’m going to wind up playing for the Dodgers.”
  • The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Atlanta Hawks, 99-98, behind 34 points from Kobe Bryant. Bryant saved his best for last, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter; he then told reporters after the game, “They know exactly why I did that to them. They know exactly what was up.” However, no one on the Hawks has any idea why Bryant would seek revenge on them. There’s no particular history of bad blood between the two teams, nor between Bryant and anyone on the current Hawks roster. “I think he’s just a little crazy,” Hawks forward Al Horford said after the game. “But don’t tell him I said that. Is it too late? Damn, this is going to be a whole thing where I have to sleep with one eye open isn’t it? Why does everyone need revenge for things? What happened to being cool and forgiving people?”

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Arsenal, Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Duke, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Michigan State, New York Knicks, San Antonio Spurs

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

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